One of the easiest-to-launch drivers we’ve hit this year, this delivers impressively on its promise of making the game easier for people off the tee. The simple, sleek aesthetics make this a very desirable option.
Easy to flight
Excellent draw-bias performance
Sleek, premium aesthetics
Lacked distance at our clubhead speed
Spun more than we would want
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This Wilson Launch Pad 2022 driver is designed to be an all-out game-improvement offering. In this video and article, we’ll look at the performance from our launch monitor and driving range testing to find out whether it delivers on its promise of making the game easier for golfers.
Before we get into the results of our own testing, it is worth highlighting some of the key technological advancements in the Wilson Launch Pad 2022 driver. The first is the face design. Through their research Wilson says that average handicap players hit 68% of their shots out of the toe half of the face. So in the new Launch Pad they’ve introduced their PKR face geometry that actually makes the striking area 5% bigger than the previous Launch Pad. That should make it more forgiving and easier to hit consistently.
The new version should also help guard against a slice and it does that in a few ways. Firstly the lie angle is two degrees upright to help golfers square up the face at impact. The face itself also sits quite closed and you can definitely see that as soon as you set it down behind the ball. There is also some heel side weighting within the head to help promote more of a draw shape. Finally, the combination of lightweight head and shaft should help players swing a little faster for more distance.
That’s the theory but how did it perform during our testing. We took it to Kings Golf Studio and tested it on a Trackman launch monitor using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls. The data graphic below shows how it performed.
It is important to say that at my clubhead speed (around 112 mph) and with my shot shape which is already a bit right to left, this driver isn’t necessarily aimed at me. As you can see, it spun a more than I’d want and as a result it didn’t go as far as some of the standard and low spin heads from other brands that performed impressively in our best golf drivers 2022 testing.
Even though it isn’t right for me, I could clearly see how there was a lot going for this club. The flight was high and that draw bias was clearly there to see - on average my shots finished about 10 to 15 yards left of the centre line. Of the best drivers for slicers on the market this year, this is definitely up there with the most effective at creating that drawing ball flight. Above all, the Wilson Launch Pad 2022 driver felt very friendly to hit. During our range testing, we were able to hit shot after shot that was very easy to launch and we didn’t lose any shots to the right.
The Launch Pad 2022 also has a very appealing aesthetic. It has a mid-sized profile down behind the ball and whilst we weren’t too keen on the off-set look, there will be plenty of golfers who will benefit from the confidence this inspires. The simple shelf appeal is also very impressive - we thought it looked more expensive than the recommended retail price of just over £300.
The sound and feel suits the friendly performance. The impact sound is very loud and high pitched. Again, we prefer the more muted, powerful sounding drivers like the Callaway Rogue ST, Cobra LTDx and TaylorMade Stealth but the feel suits this driver. It makes it feel like you are getting plenty from it when you hit it.
This might not be the longest driver we’ve hit this year but in terms of all-out game improvement or as one of the best drivers for beginners, it certainly justifies its place on the market. If you are looking for something that you can swing easily and will deliver reasonable distance and a draw flight, this is well worth testing.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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